News & Analysis

  1. u2

    Why the outrage over Apple’s U2 stunt is good news for the future of music

    Last week, amid the frenzy over new iPhones and smartwatches, Wired’s Mat Honan wrote a truly excellent requiem for the humble iPod. While reading it I felt like I was 19 again, using birthday money and cash from a summer job to buy my first Apple-adorned mp3 player (it was a 3rd generation). I remember experiencing that “new Apple smell” for the first time, wondering how a $300 device barely came with any instructions, and acclimating myself to the oddly soothing “click-click-click” that would…
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    “We the people want our money safer than our selfies.” PayPal goes after Apple in a full page NYT ad

    As the rumors of an Apple payments platform swirled leading up to last week’s keynote, plenty of smart people asked whether the world’s most valuable company was about to kill eBay’s generation one online payments subsidiary PayPal. When the details of the Pay (Apple Pay) product emerged, those cries only grew louder, including here on Pando (although I’d argue we’ve taken a more measured perspective than most on this mounting competition). But while Apple Pay surely has PayPal’s attention,…
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    Greenwald in New Zealand: Grandstanding doesn’t get more condescending or counter-productive

    As an expat-New Zealander anticipating a coming election Friday US time, I was a little caught off my guard to see Glenn Greenwald parachute into the middle of our little campaign promising massive new revelations. Greenwald was there as a guest of German-born Mega and Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who remains in New Zealand using his residency as a shield from extradition to the United States to avoid federal indictments for online piracy, racketeering, and conspiracy to commit…
  5. apple-leaves-paypal-in-the-cold

    Apple leaves PayPal out in the cold with an omission from its list of preferred Apple Pay payment platforms

    Nobody likes to be left out when the cool kids send out invitations to the hottest party. That’s exactly where PayPal finds itself today as details emerge of Apple’s list of preferred payments platforms for merchants looking to support its recently announced Pay (or Apple Pay) product. According to Apple’s Developer guidelines for Apple Pay, Payment providers make processing payments with Apple Pay simple by managing the credentials and/or processing of purchases from your app. You will need…
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  7. jlpm

    Tickets on sale now for NY Pando Monthly with Bessemer’s Jeremy Levine

    Way back in the 2007-era when I was writing about the early wave of Web 2.0 and social media, even as many of the big Sand Hill Road firms wanted nothing to do with the consumer Web, one guy’s name kept coming up: Jeremy Levine. Who? Fast forward to today, and a low-profile dude from a respectable firm who lives in New York has one of the better track records in the industry, leading deals in LinkedIn, Yelp, Pinterest and…
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    Shots fired: Authors appeal to Amazon’s board over its bullying of publishers

    A large number of authors have written a letter to Amazon’s board protesting the company’s negotiation tactics — which mostly involve bullying publishers until they agree to its terms — as the company continues its dispute with Hachette over ebook prices and revenue sharing. The authors are carful to explain in the letter that they aren’t against Amazon and its tactics when it applies to other goods — just when it threatens their livelihoods. They also explain the negative effect that…
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    Think sexism in tech is bad? It’s time for journalism to face its own diversity issues

    In recent months, news outlets have rightfully taken tech companies to task over their lack of racial and gender diversity. Women make up only 10 percent of Twitter’s technology staff, 15 percent of Facebook’s, and 17 percent of Google’s, according to the companies’ self-published diversity reports, indicating there is indeed much room for improvement. But as much as journalists like to hold tech companies accountable for their lackluster diversity numbers (and they should), it’s time for the…
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  11. Hello Santa

    JibJab acquires Hello Santa on-demand live video chat service, envisions a multi-genre Uber for fantasy

    To be five-years-old again. I regularly find myself imagining what it would be like to experience childhood through the technology-enhanced lens of the modern world. From cartoons rendered with mind-blowing CGI and in full HD — not to mention no longer restricted to the weekends — to touch screens and Facetime while parents travel for work, life as a youngster must be pretty magical. Today, Santa Monica-based digital entertainment startup JibJab Bros Studios is adding one more experience to that magical…
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    NJ sells off stake in General Catalyst fund after “pay-to-play” allegations reported by Pando

    From Fortune: “The New Jersey Division of Investments has quietly sold its stake in a venture capital fund managed by General Catalyst Partners, following allegations of impropriety related to a political contribution from General Catalyst “executive-in-residence” and current Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker.” These allegations were first reported by David Sirota for Pando. [Source: Fortune]
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    Der Spiegel details Treasure Map, the NSA’s “Google Earth for global data traffic”

    The National Security Agency and its British counterpart, GCHQ, have access to information stored by German telecoms and the devices connected to them, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden to the German publication Der Spiegel. The access was gained as part of a program, Treasure Map, meant to create an “interactive map of the global Internet” in “near real-time.” In its report, Spiegel explains the scope of the program and what agency employees can do with it: Employees of the…
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    The new Android One smartphones are a threat to Microsoft, not Apple

    Android smartphones are often a mess of inconsistent hardware and wildly different software. So many companies make phones with varying displays, touched-up versions of the software, and seemingly random features that there isn’t so much an Android market as there is a market for smartphones that happen to rely on at least some of Google’s mobile software to function. Google is working to change that with Android One, a smartphone-by-numbers project that offers manufacturers assistance with component sourcing in exchange for guarantees that…
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    Microsoft acquires Minecraft studio for $2.5B

    Microsoft announced today that it has acquired Mojang, the game development studio behind the uber-popular Minecraft franchise, for $2.5 billion. The company says that it expects the acquisition to “break-even” as early as next year. [Source: Microsoft]
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  18. Charity donations

    Coinbase aims to fill the United Way’s coffers with bitcoin donations with its new merchant integration

    With bitcoin continuing to grow in awareness and adoption but not yet breaking out from niche to truly ubiquitous status, the question remains, what is bitcoin’s truly killer feature or use case. It’s a particularly poignant question as next generation payment solutions like the recently launched PayPal OneTouch and Apple Pay address more and more of the security and convenience issues traditionally associated with consumers payments. Coinbase*, the most widely used bitcoin wallet and merchant  announced a…
  19. Floating Market

    Kinnek raises $10M from Matrix to help SMBs handle procurement like the big boys

    For consumers there’s no shortage of online destinations to discover, compare, read reviews, and price-hunt for nearly any product or service we can think of. Whether it’s Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping, Consumer Reports, Yelp, AngiesLIst, or any number of other destinations, it’s never been easier to shop for consumer electronics, fashion, housewares, restaurants, household services, and countless other categories. But for merchants and small businesses (SMBs) who need to procure equipment and supplies to run their business, the reality is…
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    Office of the Director of National Intelligence releases declassified Yahoo FISC documents

    “Today, following a renewed declassification review, the Executive Branch is publicly releasing various documents from this litigation, including legal briefs and additional sections of the 2008 FISC-R opinion, with appropriate redactions to protect national security information.” – ODNI
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